Sunday, January 08, 2017

Sporting KC's Need for Midfield Depth has Led to a Number of Rumors

Looking at Sporting KC's roster currently and the one area that most fans would agree needs some additions is the midfield. Currently KC lacks a bit in the midfield depth department. While Sporting KC is bringing back all three of their midfield starters from 2016, They're lacking players to back up the trio. Behind Benny Feilhaber there's really only Benji Joya on the roster currently who can take Feilhaber's place, unless Peter Vermes is going to try sticking Graham Zusi back in midfield again.

Behind Soni Mustivar really the only back up is Lawrence Olum, who spent more time at center back in 2016 than he did at defensive midfield. Olum also turns 33 this season and there have to be questions of whether his legs can stand up to the amount of running the midfield position requires in KC's system. Roger Espinoza really at this point has no true back up after the retirement of Paulo Nagamura this offseason.

This all leaves KC in a position of needing to add some depth behind their midfielders, especially with all three in the picture for their national team and a Gold Cup coming this summer that could potentially see all three players called up, along with World Cup qualifiers continuing in 2017. The need for depth has led to a number of rumors of players in Europe having offers from Sporting KC to come play in the US. Obviously not all these players are going to come, but it shows that Kansas City is looking to fill the holes in their team.

One of the early rumors, one that started before the 2016 season had even ended, appears to be done at this point. Fausto Rossi, who trained with Sporting KC late in the 2016 season and watched the club play at home, looks like he'll be staying in Italy as he's apparently going to sign for Serie B club, Trapani Calico.

Another more recent rumor was Alex Bergantinos, the 31 year old Deportivo La Coruna midfielder was reported to have had an offer from Sporting Kansas City that he was mulling over. The latest on that is that Bergantinos is still mulling over the offer from Kansas City. Now would seem to be a good time for Bergantinos to make his departure, as he's made just one appearance in the current season for Deportivo, a Copa del Rey game, he's yet to feature for the club in La Liga play.

If Bergantinos is looking for a way out, he may not want to wait long, as it appears that KC could have another potential target in mind as well. Today came out rumors that Sporting KC was chasing another defensive midfielder, this one from Poland. The 24 year old Aleksander Kovacevic currently plays for Lechia Gdansk, the club currently coached by former MLS player Piotr Nowak, and former club of former KC defender, Neven Markovic. The Serbian, Kovacevic, has played in just five of Lechia's first 20 games so far this season, starting just three games. He's reportedly received offers from MLS, specifically Kansas City. Given his age and current club, the former Serbian U21 international seems like a good candidate to come in without a high cap hit, something that may not be the same for Bergantinos.

While you can always take rumors with a grain of salt, the midfield for Kansas City obviously lacks depth at this point and bringing in players who can fill some of those roles and spell starters when they're hurt, suspended, or on international duty will be a key for Sporting KC in 2017.

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